CRQ questions !

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CRQ questions !

Postby Ramsess » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:57 pm

Hi, im doing the CRQ (Costa Rica quest) next week and i have some last minute questions...

Its a 9 day trip

How much money should i bring for food ?! I want to eat well and try what i can, but i wont abuse...

Do we have time to hit the beach or we dont get the chance ?

Are there fees at the aerport in San Jose ?

Overall, are souvenirs and extra activities expensive or is it affordable (I know they take american money there) ?!

I need to watch my budget :)

Thx for your help

-Amir
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby Carmey » Sat Feb 06, 2010 6:22 pm

I would take $300 to 400 for food. If you eat at the hotel they charge an additiona 25% onto the bill, 15% for hotel fees and 10% tip.

There is a fee at the Airport when departing, I think it is around $27, make sure you pay it prior to checking in with your airline.

Yes you have time to hit the beach in Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park. I also did all of my shopping in Quepos. Everywhere we went we paid with American dollars, one place gave us a discount for paying with cash and not credit. They all appriciate it if you have exact change and they don't have to break a $50.

As for the cost of the activities look at the recommendations on the web site, they are accurate.
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby Ramsess » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:58 am

Carmey wrote:I would take $300 to 400 for food. If you eat at the hotel they charge an additiona 25% onto the bill, 15% for hotel fees and 10% tip.

There is a fee at the Airport when departing, I think it is around $27, make sure you pay it prior to checking in with your airline.

Yes you have time to hit the beach in Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park. I also did all of my shopping in Quepos. Everywhere we went we paid with American dollars, one place gave us a discount for paying with cash and not credit. They all appriciate it if you have exact change and they don't have to break a $50.

As for the cost of the activities look at the recommendations on the web site, they are accurate.


Yay 300-400 for food alone :shock: !!!

Eating at the hotel is the best or its just time saving ?!
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby ba » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:06 pm

I went on "The Best of Costa Rica - Standard" [TCRBCC081214] starting in San Jose December 20, 2008 finishing in San Jose December 29, 2008, it was a 10 day trip. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites both on our way in and out and found it very expensive for a central American country, attached is a photo of the menu, prices in USD. There was a grocery store and pizzaria nearby where we were able to get food for a somewhat reasonable price. In general the hotels were far enough away from anything else that we were forced to eat on site. At Lavas Tacotel in Arenal/La Fortuna area we went across the street to a steak restaurant called "Restaurante Steak House" because the hotel restaurant was full with some tour group and we were too hungry to wait. The Steak House was more expensive than the hotel and more expensive than the average steak restaurant in North America, but it was the only thing within walking distance.

The GAP trip description said to bring $100 USD/person for the 15 meals (if you do 3 meals per day) that are not included. This works out to $6/meal. I see that their trip description now says $95-$125; this is woefully inadequate since you will want water in between, snacks etc. NONE of which are included in your trip. I agree with Carmey that you will need at least $300/person for food alone. Be prepared to pay Starbucks prices at the little roadside stops between cities - eg. $2.50 USD for a slice of sponge cake.

I found the daytrips unexpectedly overpriced and of course change all the time and are not advertised in writing anywhere; one trip we took at Arenal/La Fortuna cost us $200 USD/person to walk through a forest with hanging bridges, see a very small waterfall, eat lunch (where the sign said $5 for the meal including juice - had we known about this place we would have gone there before but it's obviously not advertised and only the locals would know where to find it) then climb a distance to see some dust rise when some very distant rocks tumble down the side of the volcano, then go to the hot springs, to which entrance was $20 USD/person. Unfortunately we didn't have time to figure things out for ourselves so we decided to go with the organized tour offered through the hotel (there was nothing else around) but we could probably have done it all for half the price. Don't expect any help from "Yiomara" the GAP support person for Costa Rica; she was unsympathetic at best and her English was not sufficient to help us at all. At one point we saw people burning toxic garbage on the side of the road and I am not a stranger to third-world living conditions, but after all the hype about eco-tourism and how amazing everyone says Costa Rica is, between the gimicky "Pura Vida" greeting and ridiculously inflated prices Costa Rica was a huge disappointment. If that was the 'best' of Costa Rica it was not near worth the amount of money we paid and I will never go back.
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby chardonais » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:41 am

Yikes! Can't believe the amount of money needed for food! I'm going on CRA in April (16 days) and will definately be re-thinking my budget per day! Thanks everyone - I would have hated to have such a surprise in costs when I got there - now I can mentally prepare to be broke from the comfort of my home!
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby JaliscoJudy » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:03 am

chardonais wrote:Yikes! Can't believe the amount of money needed for food! I'm going on CRA in April (16 days) and will definately be re-thinking my budget per day! Thanks everyone - I would have hated to have such a surprise in costs when I got there - now I can mentally prepare to be broke from the comfort of my home!


Believe me, Costa Ricans can't afford $10 hamburgers. Most don't even eat hamburgers. You can find healthy, cheap food in there. Ask your hotel or your guide for a recommendation for a good restaurant that locals frequent with menus that aren't in English. If there's nothing within walking distance of your hotel, you can take a taxi and still come in under $10 for your meal.
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby ballu » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:46 pm

I haven't been to Costa Rica yet...and I imgaine prices will be higher than other countries in the area. However, the menu looks to say "room service" at the top so I'm hoping those prices are a little higher than what would be found elsewhere.

But I could be wrong...
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Re: CRQ questions !

Postby ba » Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:56 am

If you have to cab it somewhere you're obviously adding travel costs to the price of your meal and spending your time hunting for food instead of sightseeing and we were on a bit of a tight schedule. Plus it depends on how adventurous you are with food in foreign places and how strong your immune system is.
The room service prices were the same as the prices at the hotel's restaurant. There are no restaurants within walking distance of the San Jose Country Inn and Suites except the pizza place. There are 2 other hotels with restaurants nearby if I remember correctly and there are two large gift/souvenir shops where they have a wide variety of stuff that is relatively reasonably priced. Some of the places we stopped for souvenirs between destinations were tourist traps though.
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